Foursquare Splits App in Two, Separates Local Search From Check-ins

For the past year, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley has tried to explain that the app he launched in 2009 has changed. Many users still just view Foursquare as a check-in app, which Crowley believes is holding the company back. Users everywhere are asking themselves, is it really over?

Foursquare is Taking Some Time to Work on Itself


Before you grab your box of tissues to morn yet another tech breakup, there is hope. The Verge revealed that Foursquare will be redesigning its core app from the ground up. Foursquare plans to eliminate check-in functionality, and instead focus on further developing local discovery and exploration functionality.

Foursquare recently signed a deal that exports data from their app into Bing search in exchange for a $15 million investment.

What does this mean for end users? In addition to increased local search functionality, there is an increased opportunity for personalized coupons or instant notifications of sales or specials that pop up when you’re in the vicinity of the storefront.

Foursquare’s Blog shares their reasoning for the new approach:

“We believe local search should be personalized to your tastes and informed by the people you trust. The opinions of actual experts should matter, not just strangers An app should be able to answer questions like ‘give me a great date dinner spot’.”

Swarm Helps You Cozy Up with Friends

Don’t worry, check-ins aren’t going away entirely. Foursquare will be transitioning their check-in functionality to their new application Swarm. The goal for building Swarm was to create a more social app that allows you to interact with friends just as you would by sending a text or an instant message.

Think of it as a heat map of your friend’s activity. You will be able to access their approximate location to make plans on the fly, or broadcast to nearby friends what you’re interested in doing in the near future.

If you’d like to be notified when Swarm becomes available visit:

Which Side Should You Choose?

Like it or not, sometimes you have to choose sides during a break up. To put it simply, the new Foursquare will be for those people who are always looking for the best brunch spot, coffee shop, or local retailer and want to share it with others. The functionality will be similar to sites like Yelp or UrbanSpoon.

Swarm, on the other hand, will function more as a social media platform to connect users with their friends that are in the area.

Here’s the good news, you don’t have to pick sides. The two different apps serve as a great complement to each other. Utilize Swarm to find your friends in the area for an impromptu happy hour, and then find a place nearby using Foursquare.

What’s the Buzz?

It’s your turn to share. Do you agree with Foursquare’s decision to split their application in two? Do you think the choice to split the app in two will help them appeal to a variety of different types of users, or lose users that have viewed Foursquare as their favorite check-in app of choice for years?

Image Credit: The Verge

Related reading

local SEO for enterprises
paid search phone calls
Google tests AR for Google Maps Considerations for businesses across local search, hyperlocal SEO, and UX
facebook is a local search engine. Are you treating it like one?